© AFP/Getty Images

Tomas Berdych records his seventh straight win over Sergiy Stakhovsky on Tuesday.

Berdych Aims To Go One Better In Doha; Ferrer Upset

Last year's runner-up starts 2016 with a win

Tomas Berdych, hoping to go one better than last year's runner-up finish, opened his 2016 ATP World Tour season with a 7-5, 6-4 victory over Sergiy Stakhovsky in 78 minutes on Tuesday at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open. He will next play Damir Dzumhur in the second round.

"It's always tricky to play him," said Berdych. "He's one of the few that likes to come to the net a lot, playing a lot of slice and a lot of variation in the game. I just took my chances in the first set and... in the second. It was quite solid game today... It would be great to leave with the trophy in the end."

World No. 94 Illya Marchenko recorded his first Top 10 victory (1-4 lifetime) by knocking out fourth seed and defending champion David Ferrer 6-7(8), 6-3, 6-2 in two hours and 18 minutes. Last year, Ferrer won 19 of his first 20 matches, including three ATP World Tour titles.

“I feel great beating a guy that high ranked,” said Marchenko. “And I have really huge respect for David. I enjoy his matches, how he fights on the court. It's a huge moment for me.” 

"He was better than me all the match," admitted Ferrer. "From the first set, he deserved win the match. I didn't obviously play my game. I didn't serve well. [In the] second and third set, he was more aggressive than me."

Elsewhere, Pablo Andujar came through a two-hour test against Paolo Lorenzi 6-4, 0-6, 6-4 and Teymuraz Gabashvili saved five of seven break points in a 4-6, 6-4, 6-1 win over Simone Bolelli.

More stories like this in: